Southwell (Jockey Club)
Flat, Hurdles, Fences
Approx no. of meetings
Rail from Nottingham to Rolleston (22 minutes)
Large amount of car parking
Taxis. - Rarer than rocking horse droppings.
2 stands, none seated, Two main bars standard and premier , restaurants and several tote offices including stand alone and in bars. Ladbrooks in the standard enclosure bar. Parade ring behind main stand.
Stayed in Southwell where there are 3 hotels in the centre that we found
Standard and Premier enclosure, discount in advance, student and concessions on the day.
(2) Return before challenge complete
7 April 2016– UK Tracks Visited (6)
There are always positives and negatives to all places your visit and all things you do. Southwell is not exception, but not for the reasons you might think and not in any way that became a problem. We arrived at the hotel to drop the car off and had the odd conversation about getting a taxi. Is it that we are too used to being in London or big cities? There was the noise of a plumber sucking air over his teeth before he gives you the estimate. After a couple of phone calls, we got a lift there, but unfortunately no lift back could be sought. This was the bad thing, but as you can see, not that bad. But it led to a very postive life affirming moment.
When we arrived at the track and i was paying the taxi driver, Madam Hoof was chatting to the a very nice man on the door called John and explaining the situation (see above). By the time i got to them, John had offered the services of his new car to take us back to our hotel later. John and his lovely wife who we met on our return were simply the tip of a very friendly iceberg. From the staff manning the premier enclosure to the staff behind the bar, everyone could not do enough for us and chatted to us about the challenge.
In theory, even though this was a wet day at times, we have still not had a day spoiled by rain, as it came in a couple of showers but intermixed with bright warm sunshine. The saddest moment of the day was watching the parade ring from the balcony of the upper premier bar as the rain poor down. Those horses and stable lads were less than impressed.
It was an all weather track day and i have mentioned before,referring to Lingfield, how i didn't like it as much as grass racing, well today was different. The all weather track is closest to the crowd, so you get a great view of the horses and feel the power of their presence as they rush past. There is also an amusing thing that happens between races. Anyone who loves Ice hockey or skating will have seen a Zambone fixing the scratches and chips in the ice. With the all weather track, in between each race there were four tractors raking and flattening the track like a set of synchonrised swimmers. All part of the bigger world of racing we were learning about.
Today was day one of Aintree and a lot of focus, money and people were one hundred miles away. But if you want to see racing with passion and people that care about racing, visit Southwell on a showery day in April and you will see the true spirit of the sport.